I'm a real estate agent in NYC. Do you have any advice for how I can generate more leads in 2014? It seems like the advertising landscape has been changing. Consumers no longer look for rentals on Craigs­list as much as they used too, and a ton of new websites keep popping up like and I'm looking to have a base of steady income through rentals and then focus on larger deals in sales and commercial.

Michael Chadwick, BOND New York Properties


As a marketer, your first consideration should be: What is the problem I'm trying to solve?

Here are a few questions you, and any other Realtor, should ask yourself. Can you identify why the websites you mentioned "don't work?" What has been the main source(s) of your leads before this, and why has that shut down?

If one of the answers is that Internet leads are no longer prolific, then why are the sites you mentioned not working? Do those sites that are proliferating accept agent advertising, and can those sites give you good demographic information that details their audience so you can decide if they are a responsive target market for you?

Has Craigslist been a major lead supplier to you, and is the issue with the "quality" of those leads or the reduction in numbers of leads? Are you looking for listings to rent or tenants to represent?

Reviewing your website and personal profile reveals that you have been quite productive and have leased many properties. Therefore, would the tenants you represented be an effective referral source and, if asked, would they give you testimonials to include in your Web advertising? If the Web landscape has changed, perhaps your past clients would be a more productive source for lead development.

Finally, I would also advise you to develop a website aside from the Bond site. That way, you can explore search engine optimization methods to increase your exposure to rental inquiries in your geographic focus.

About the author: Michael Hoffman, participating adjunct, marketing University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business,